By: Evette Champion
In the wake of the murder of unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, and the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man responsible for his death, the movement known as Black Lives Matter was born. In the two years since its inception, there has been countless conversations about the movement and why doesn’t all lives matter. Because of this query, some white people have countered the #BlackLivesMatter with #AllLivesMatter.
And, yes, all lives do matter—there is no doubt about that. However, to take race out of the conversation not only turns a blind eye to America’s racial divide, but it actually makes things worse because the black community feels as though the white people behind All Lives Matter are negating the injustices done to the black community, but they are also shifting the focus off the needless deaths of black men and women by the hands of law enforcement, and placing the focus on themselves.
If it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, than this photograph sums up the Black Lives Matter v. All Lives Matter perfectly.
It basically says that the black community is wrong for feeling as they do and expressing their anger toward the blatant disregard for black lives. It is silencing their voice and negating the awareness the movement sought out.
By saying All Lives Matter, it is cheapening the lives of the African Americans who were killed and there was no justice for them.
What people don’t seem to understand is that simply because you support the Black Lives Matter movement, you are not against white people. Instead, by supporting the movement, you are saying that you are aware that there are black men and women who are being killed by the hands of law enforcement and it needs to stop.
Throughout history, racism has been a problem for this country. As hard as we try to eliminate it, the truth remains is that it won’t go away so easily. Sure, we can pretend that racism doesn’t exist, which is what the All Lives Matter hashtag kind of does. But if there is one thing that we can all agree on, it’s that police brutality against the black community needs to be acknowledged and dealt with–pronto.